President Salva Kiir has asked the Sudanese opposition leaders and the new regime in Sudan to negotiate in good faith.
Representatives of the Sudanese Supreme Council and armed opposition groups are in Juba for the peace talks. Kiir first offered to host talks in November last year.
This followed former president Omar al-Bashir’s successful mediation of the South Sudan peace talks in Khartoum last September.
According to Kiir, his mediation efforts are aimed at finding an end to the civil war in the Blue Nile and the Darfur region.
The states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan, which both have large ethnic minority populations fought alongside the South Sudanese during the civil war.
Addressing the launch of the peace at the Freedom Hall in Juba talks on Monday, President Kiir called on the Sudanese parties to make compromises during the negotiations.
“Time has come for us in Africa and in our region to rise up to the challenge of addressing our differences and conflicts,” Kiir said in the event graced by regional heads of state, including Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni and Ethiopian Premier Dr Abiy Ahmed.
“I have no doubt that we have the capacity, the ability and the required competence to do so if we have a strong political will.
“Now for the Sudanese delegations for the peace talks, I wish them successful dialogue, negotiation and compromise so that we celebrate the achievement of peace in the Sudan.”
For his part, the Chairman of the Sudanese Sovereign Council- Abdul Fattah Al Burhan, expressed hopes that the Kiir-mediated peace talks will bring to an end years of conflict in the Sudan.
“We are reiterating our full commitment that this round of talks will be the end to the problems of our Sudanese people – to put an end to the suffering of our people,” Al Burhan promised.
Yoweri Museveni says leaders in Sudan and South Sudan have sought leadership positions by turning their people against each other.
He says since 1962, Sudan has failed to address the underlying causes of wars and poverty because of lack of political ideology.
In 2011, Sudan split following 39 years of civil war between South Sudanese and the Sudanese government over lack of services and poor system of governance.
Museveni argues that the problems of Sudan and Africa can be attributed to the misguided use of tribal and religious identities as a means of resolving issues.
“People who are ideologically bankrupt have no alternative but to use opportunism of religion, tribe, and of race. This is a crime against Africa,” said the leader who has been the Uganda’s president since 1986.
“If you don’t know what to do, go back home and mismanage your home. Don’t come to a public office to cause suffering for the people.”
While they applaud President Kiir’s efforts to help restore stability in the Sudan, critics and activists say the President should start the charity at home by ensuring that the revitalized peace agreement is fully implemented.
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